The Benefits of Hunting
Hunting is a sport that is loved by some, overlooked by many and opposed by few. In the world today, the popularity of hunting has declined by an astonishing amount, and now more than ever people are opposing hunting. We as a people cannot let that occur; hunting plays a vital role in our nation because it benefits the economy, conservation efforts, and animal populations.Just like any other sport in America there are people who actively participate in hunting. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife about four percent of the United States population hunt that amounts to about12.5 million people. (“Hunting statistics and Economies”) These 12.5 million hunters support the economy through buying a variety of item like: guns, bows, clothes, vehicles, ammunition, gas, food, hunting dogs and tags. Through purchasing these items, all the hunters in America spent a total of twenty-four point seven billion dollars in two thousand and one. Hunters alone spent six hundred and five million dollars on their hunting dogs in 2001, which is ninety-two million dollars more than skiers spent on their skiing equipment. On average, a single hunter spends approximately one thousand nine hundred and seventy-six dollars on hunting every year. The money that is spent by hunters supports over half a million jobs. (“Economic Importance of Hunting in America” 1-11)The image of the typical American hunter was once an image of a respectable person, unfortunately, it has now decayed to an image of a group of drunken bums driving around in the forest shooting anything and everything they see. Why in some instances this may be true, it is more of an exception than a rule, in fact many hunters stand for and support conservation efforts. For many, this may seem like an oxymoron, after all hunting is killing and conservation is preserving. “As paradoxical as it may seem, if hunting were to disappear, a large amount of the funding that goes to restore all sorts of wildlife habitat, game and nongame species alike, would disappear,” (“As Hunting Declines, Conservation Efforts Suffer”). Sportsmen and women have historically funded most of the conservation efforts in America. (“Hunter and Conservation”). Organizations such as Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever are two organizations that are devoted to the protection and use of lands for hunter and the public. Ninety percent of both these organizations are supported by hunters (“Pheasants Forever Land Acquisition”). Combined, these two organizations have conserved over twelve point five million acres (“Ducks Unlimited and Hunting”). However, hunters are not the only people who benefit from the land that is conserved by these conservation organizations, “The same open spaces that hunters use and in which wildlife thrive are just as available to the non-hunting public for its enjoyment and recreation.” (“Hunter and Conservation”).Hunters also help to support animal populations. For many people, this is also an oxymoron, because hunters kill animals and how would this benefit the animal populations? Wild animals aren’t something that we can save for the future, as a result if there are too many animals nature usually takes over by starving the animals to death (“Hunter and Conservation”). That is why hunters have certain rules pertaining to what animals can be hunted and the quantity of animals that can be harvested. Through these rules hunters can help the animal populations stay at a reasonable number so there is a plentiful amount of food and optimal living conditions. Because of the food and optimal living conditions animal populations haven’t just grown they have exploded! As a result, “Many species of wildlife that are hunted are not only secure today, but even, in many instances, far more numerous than they were before the turn of the last century.” (“Hunter and Conservation”). One such species is the white-tailed deer. In 1900 the white-tailed deer population was estimated at less than 500,000 deer, then because of the rules that hunters had the deer population increased dramatically. Today there are over 36 million white-tailed deer in America and they are now more abundant than they have ever been. Similar events have occurred to other species such as the pronghorn antelope, rocky mountain elk, and wild turkey. (“Economic Importance of Hunting in America”). “Like baseball and apple pie, hunting is an American tradition shared by young and old, rich and poor, regardless of social or economic status. Hunting is not Democratic or Republican; it knows no geographic or congressional boundaries. Its history and heritage crosses all racial and ethnic boundaries.” (“Economic Importance of Hunting in America”). Hunting has shaped the world that we live in. If we were to stop hunting, America would suffer, because hunting is extremely beneficial to the economy, conservation efforts and animal populations. Hunting is part of our heritage, and we simply cannot throw it away.
Works CitedUnited States. Fish and Wildlife Service. Hunting statistics and Economies. 2008. Web. .United States. Fish and Wildlife Service. What do hunters do for conservation? 2007. Web. .Economic Importance of Hunting in America. International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, 2002. Web. 21 Mar 2012. . “The New York Times.” As Hunting Declines, Conservation Efforts Suffer. The New York Times 12/12/2010. Web. 21 Mar 2012. .”Pheasants Forever.” Pheasants Forever Land Acquisition. Pheasants Forever, n.d. Web. 21 Mar 2012. .”Ducks Unlimited.” Ducks Unlimited and Hunting. Pheasants Forever, n.d. Web. 21 Mar 2012. .The Hunter and Conservation. National Shooting Sports Foundation, n.d. Web. 21 Mar 2012. .